Good Gardening Week 7: What Are Your Best Gardening Hacks? Check Out Last Week’s Answers

Welcome back to Good Gardening! In our Week 6 discussion, we wanted to know how our Good Gardeners manage the forces of chaos and order in their garden, particularly with wild things like animals and weeds. As always we took the conversation to social media and shared pictures and anecdotes.

Our Good Gardeners handle chaos in different ways, and what struck the GNN team this week is how positive everyone’s solutions were.

Brad Rowland plants edible weeds, like (his suggestions) lamb’s quarters, amaranth, and dandelion, and suggests to try and plan out every square inch of terrain before the season starts to give weeds as little room to grow. Eliza Cain utilized chaos in a different way. This season she let her garden grow almost entirely from plants which she let seed from last year, and judging from the colors it was a grand idea.

Brad Rowland’s garden (left) – Eliza Cain’s Garden (right)

From the mailbox, Owen T. wrote in and said he controls weeds in his squash garden by overlapping the vines so those big squash leaves shade the ground to discourage weed growth, as well as using cardboard, something other commenters like Lisa Bailey also utilize.

Roberta Lacefield (quite the fitting name for a Good Gardener) prefers a tidy garden when she can have it, and can usually take out all weeds at once by mowing along the edges of her beds, then placing first carboard, and then a layer of hay overtop.

Roberta Lacefield’s garden

One of our weekly contributors, permaculturalist Monica Richards, wrote in to note how she prefers “controlled chaos” in her raised beds for a number of reasons.

We have many kinds of critters who go through my gardens, and having a natural diversity can help keep some of your important veggie plants safe. Half of my work here is observation, so I often allow what some people call “weeds” to grow if they provide shade to plants next to them, or if they flower, attract bees to them as well. The only time I pull something is if it’s actually not allowing other plants around it to thrive.”

Monica Richard’s pond where chaos is permitted inside the raised area around it.

“How large the garden should be is often hastily decided when the gardener is in the flush of spring fever. That’s a bad time! It’s like going grocery shopping when you’re hungry,” — Mel Bartholomew.

Question 1: What are some gardening hacks you’ve picked up along the way?

Question 2: A garden is the ultimate improv arena: what’s your best example of DIY success?

Question 3: What has been your favorite resource for gardening tips and tricks?

Tell Us Here in The Comments… or, send your questions, tips, and photos to [email protected] Join our Facebook Good Gardens thread every Friday on the GNN Facebook Page

Good gardening rules

Green thumbs can help novice greenhorns.
Share your gardening photos and resources.
Garden jargon encouraged!

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